Hepatitis C Surveillance 2022

Hepatitis C, 2019 banner

What is hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a disease caused by infection of the liver with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is a bloodborne virus. Transmission can happen through sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; from the gestational parent to baby during pregnancy or at birth; or (rarely) through sexual contact.

Today, in the United States, the majority of persons become infected with HCV by sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs. For certain persons, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for about half of persons who become infected with HCV, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.

Like chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C is a serious disease that can result in cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death. Persons might not be aware of their infection if they do not have symptoms.

Since 2013, highly effective, well-tolerated curative treatments have been available for hepatitis C, but no vaccine for preventing hepatitis C is yet available.

The best way to prevent hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs with non-sterile injection equipment.

Hepatitis C in 2022

Acute hepatitis C


There were 4,848 new cases of acute hepatitis C reported during 2022


There were 67,400 estimated acute HCV infections during 2022

Chronic hepatitis C


There were 93,805 cases of newly reported chronic hepatitis C during 2022


There were 12,717 hepatitis C-related deaths reported during 2022

Acute hepatitis C in 2022

After over a decade of consecutive annual increases in acute hepatitis C, the number of acute hepatitis C cases declined for the first time in 2022. This decrease was observed despite a change to the acute hepatitis C case definition in 2020, which was designed to improve sensitivity in identifying acute hepatitis C cases (see Technical Notes/Case Definitions).

In 2020, CDC issued universal adult and pregnancy screening guidelines. In 2023, CDC issued updated recommendations for complete and accurate HCV testing and perinatal HCV testing. It is important that health care professionals, public health officials, and organizations involved in the development, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of clinical and preventive services follow and use these recommendations.

Fast facts about acute hepatitis C in 2022


The number of acute hepatitis C cases in 2022 was 2 times as high as in 2015


The rate of acute hepatitis C decreased over 6% during 2021–2022



Persons aged 3039 years had the highest rates of acute hepatitis C


The rate of acute hepatitis C among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native persons was 1.9 times as high as the rate among non-Hispanic White persons

During 2022, rates of acute hepatitis C were highest among males, persons aged 30–39 years, non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons, and those living in the Eastern and Southeastern states. Among cases with risk information reported, the most common was injection drug use.

Chronic hepatitis C in 2022

During 2022, 43 states and the District of Columbia reported a total of 93,805 newly identified chronic hepatitis C cases, corresponding to 40.2 chronic hepatitis C cases per 100,000 population.

The age-adjusted death rate for hepatitis C during 2022 (2.89 deaths per 100,000 population) decreased 9% from 2021 (3.18 deaths per 100,000 population) and 22% from 2018 (3.72 deaths per 100,000 population).

The death rates were higher among non-Hispanic AI/AN and non-Hispanic Black persons (3.3 times and 1.7 times, respectively) than among non-Hispanic White persons.

Fast facts about chronic hepatitis C in 2022


During 2022, 65% of newly reported chronic hepatitis C cases occurred among men


During 2022, the rate of newly reported chronic hepatitis C cases was highest among non-Hispanic AI/AN persons at 104.8 cases per 100,000 people

Chronic hepatitis C affects multiple generations, with infections highest among two age groups: 25–45 and 55–70 years.

Hepatitis C figures and tables